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Johnny Antonelli

Johnny Antonelli played with the Braves from 1948 to 1950, again in 1953 and 1961. Born on April 12, 1930 in Rochester, New York, he was a pitcher who batted and threw left.

It isn’t easy to cause a riot in New York City, but Braves General Manager John Quinn nearly accomplished it prior to the 1954 season. Several months later there was a celebration.

The two principles to the deal were Bobby Thomson and the young left handed pitcher Johnny Antonelli. Thompson hit the most dramatic home run in history in 1951.

The Braves needed a power hitting outfielder. The didn’t know that the future all-time home run king (Aaron) was about to make his presence known. So the Braves traded the 23 year old Antonelli to the Giants. That was a tough trade as Antonelli just finished fourth in the National League with a 3.18 ERA in 1953.

Understandably, the Giants were madder than a hornet at losing Thomson, who was coming off a 106 RBI season. It didn’t take long to change their thinking. Antonelli was 21-7 in 1954 and helped propel the Giants to win the NL pennant. He had a winning percentage of .750, 6 shutouts, and an ERA of 2.30. He also won a game in the World Series.

Thomson broke his leg in spring training, leading the Milwaukee Braves to insert Hank Aaron in the line up.

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